The holiday season brings with it a sense of merriment and celebration. Festive gatherings filled with cocktails, carols, and cherished companionship become the hallmark of this joyous time. However, when planning your festivities, it is crucial to exercise caution and consider the well-being of every guest, including your four-legged companion. While the temptation may arise to include your dog in the festivities by sharing a gulp of beer or other alcoholic beverages, it is essential to understand that such acts can have toxic consequences. To ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season for all, let’s explore responsible ways to celebrate and keep your dog’s health in mind.
Alcohol, including beer, wine, and spirits, can have severe adverse effects on dogs. Their bodies are not equipped to metabolize alcohol efficiently, leading to intoxication and potential life-threatening situations. Even small amounts can have detrimental effects on their central nervous system, causing symptoms such as disorientation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, difficulty breathing, and even seizures. In some cases, alcohol ingestion can lead to coma or even death.
Avoid an Ethanol Emergency
Dogs cannot metabolize alcohol the way that humans can. For that reason, ethanol, the substance in booze that can make people intoxicated, can be lethal for your pooch if he drinks enough of it.
A deadly dose of ethanol is 5.5 grams per kilogram of your dog’s bodyweight. What does that mean? A 10-pound pup would not survive if he had more than 25 grams of ethanol, the equivalent of about two beers. (A smaller amount would be toxic for smaller dogs and puppies.) Keep in mind that the level of ethanol depends on the type of alcohol: beer contains 5-7%, while wine has 9% and liquor anywhere from 30% to 80%.
Symptoms of ethanol poisoning in dogs typically surface 30 minutes to two hours following consumption. Smaller dogs will become poisoned more quickly than larger breeds. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your vet immediately.
–decreased body temperature
Hop to It
On top of ethanol, the cultivated hops used in the beer-brewing process are also known to be toxic to dogs. Following consumption, dogs can develop uncontrollably high body temperatures—sometimes even higher than 108° F. The high fevers then result in failure of multiple organ systems and permanent organ damage. Symptoms of hops poisoning include restlessness, excessive panting, muscle tremors and seizures. If you notice any of these signs, get your dog to the vet or emergency animal care center STAT.
Nog’s a No-No, Too
When it comes to holiday indulgences, eggnog holds a special place in many people’s hearts. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers that eggnog can pose to our furry friends, especially dogs. Apart from concerns about raw eggs or alcohol content, one particular ingredient often found in eggnog can be harmful to dogs: nutmeg. This festive spice, when ingested by dogs, can have severe consequences, including tremors, seizures, and damage to the central nervous system.
Nutmeg, in large amounts or when concentrated, contains a compound called myristicin, which can be toxic to dogs. When dogs consume nutmeg, it can lead to various neurological symptoms due to its impact on the central nervous system. These symptoms may include tremors or shaking, seizures, disorientation, increased heart rate, and even hallucinations in some cases.
To prioritize the health and well-being of your pooch during the holiday season, it is essential to keep nutmeg-containing foods, including eggnog, out of their reach. It’s important to note that the toxicity of nutmeg is dose-dependent, meaning that even small amounts can potentially cause adverse effects in dogs, especially those with lower body weights.
If you suspect that your dog has ingested any foods or beverages containing nutmeg, it’s crucial to seek veterinary advice immediately. The veterinarian can assess the situation, provide guidance, and take appropriate measures to mitigate any potential harm caused by nutmeg ingestion.
The Right Way to Relax
You’ve probably heard of yappy hours and dog-friendly restaurants and bars, but have you thought about what your dog’s supposed to drink once he has graced these fine establishments with his presence—or how he can unwind at home?
The answer is doggy beer. Yep, you read it right. Happy Tail Ale and Bowser Beer are two non-alcoholic brews you can try. The latter is an all-natural chicken or beef-flavored beverage sourced and manufactured in the good ol’ USA. Bowser Beer is also made with USDA-approved ingredients and is low in fat and high in protein. We’ll cheers to that.